Holi moly! Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne are covered in powder as players join Festival of Colours celebrations before fourth Test against India…as Aussie skipper insisting tourists will relish the challenge of playing in front of huge crowd
Australian players got into the spirit ahead of the fourth Test in Ahmedabad as they took part in Holi celebration on Wednesday.
One of the most popular and significant festivals in Hinduism, it celebrates the arrival of spring and the end of the winter in India and the gods Radna and Krishna.
Holi is known as the Festival of Colours and Aussie stars enthusiastically joined the party ahead of the final Test of the series, which begins at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday.
Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Alex Carey, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Handscomb and Matt Kuhnemann celebrated the festival at the Taj Skyline Hotel.
The group were covered head to toe in coloured powder and looked to have thoroughly enjoyed the experience, which Labuschagne described as ‘awesome’ on Twitter.
Marnus Labuschagne (left) and Steve Smith (right) joined the Holi celebrations on Wednesday
The star batters were joined by Matt Renshaw and Peter Handscomb (first and second left), Matt Kuhnemann and Alex Carey (fourth and fifth left)
Meanwhile, Australia plan to embrace the expected chaos of a political meeting that threatens to overshadow the start of the fourth and final Test against India.
The opening day of the Border-Gavaskar series finale in Ahmedabad promises to be one of the most bizarre moments in cricket history when an estimated 110,000 people turn up to the stadium named after India’s current prime minister.
Narendra Modi will welcome Australia’s leader Anthony Albanese to the colosseum named in the Indian PM’s honour to celebrate ’75 years of friendship through cricket’.
Preparations are already well under way inside the stadium, with signs and posters of Modi and Albanese being set up everywhere, even in place of where a sight screen should be.
The political pair will take part in a series of events before the Test, including being involved in an opening ceremony.
But rather than be daunted by the thought of playing in front of a world record crowd for a day of Test cricket, acting Australia captain Steve Smith is excited by the prospect.
The record attendance for a single day stands at 91,112 from the Boxing Day Test between Australia and England at the MCG in 2013-14.
‘It is a good chance of being a pretty cool atmosphere,” Smith said on Wednesday.
Smith (left) and Labuschagne embraced the Festival of Colours celebrations
Renshaw enthusiastically joined in the celebrations on Wednesday
Smith said Australia will embrace the challenge of playing in front of a huge crowd in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad, which begins on Thursday
Labuschagne described the celebrations as an ‘awesome’ experience on social media
An estimated 110,000 fans are expected to turn up at the Narendra Modi Stadium
‘A lot of the guys haven’t seen this stadium before. They’ve walked in today and it’s huge
‘If we get somewhere up around that [110,000] number, it’d be unbelievable, the atmosphere.
‘We know how loud some of these grounds are over here in India, so if there’s 100,000-plus out there, it’s going to be pretty loud.
‘It’d be really just a great vibe and atmosphere out there to play in front of.’